Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Transgenic crops’ built-in pesticide found to be contaminating waterways

From Grist:

Well, after years of denial, Monsanto finally admitted recentlythat superbugs, or pests that have evolved to be able to eat the Bt crops, are a real and growing concern. And now, researchers at the University of Notre Dame have shown that the Bt from genetically engineered maize is polluting waterways in Indiana (the study area). They found Bt toxin in almost 25 percent of streams they tested, and all the streams that tested positive were within 1,500 feet from a cornfield.
The fun part? No one has any idea yet of the effects of long-term, low-dose exposure to Bt on fish and wildlife. Perhaps it's high time somebody did a study on that since, as the researchers dryly observed, the presence of Bt toxin "may be a more common occurrence in watersheds draining maize-growing regions than previously recognized." Apparently.
So. Not only do genetically engineered crops have worse yields than conventionally bred crops, cost more, lead to pesticide resistance, contaminate other plants with their transgenes, possibly cause allergies and even organ damage, but now we also learn that the plants themselves are possibly poisonous to the environment.


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